Vocation thru youth, midlife, retirement and old age- the ProgressedMidheaven.
Nothing in astrology, or life, is static. The Midheaven, which is the astrological point which most defines your vocational aspirations, moves through your horoscope. It starts in your 10th house, and then at about age thirty moves into the 11th house, and then at about age 60moves into the 12th house, and so on. As it progresses, and you age, your approach to vocation, although not your vocation, changes slightly to reflect this different position of the Midheaven.
The Capricornian Phase of Vocation
Until a person is about thirty years old, the issues of the tenth house, Capricorn and Saturn, predominate and mark a time which culminates in the creation of a separate social identity from their parents, which conversely have a huge influence on their children during this time. The following Saturnine qualities are thereby emphasized. Stability and structure- Young people are guided by parents and teachers in what is expected of them; they don’t have to worry about getting laid off, they get a lot of support and guidance from family, and mentors during this period. There is often a definite step by step progression, which gives a strong sense of security. Preparation and patience The early years are often a time for preparing for vocation, rather than pursuing it. Some people don’t finish their education until their late twenties, some woman spend their twenties raising kids full time before they even start to pursue vocation.
Focus – much of the first stage of vocation is spent figuring out just what your vocation is, separating out the things that you are good at, and not good at, the things you like and don’t like, and developing the specialized skills necessary to pursue your vocation. Discipline and responsibility toward others – successful pursuit of vocation requires both discipline to develop professionalism, and also a sense of responsibility to be useful to others in some way. Ambition and drive – ever watch a child learn to walk and count how many times they fall, get up, fall and get up- each time more, not less determined to succeed. Restriction and insecurity- Notwithstanding, that for most people that school years and early adulthood are a grand time of their lives, these years are also often marked by restriction and insecurity. Parents and society often unduly impose their own ideas and expectations on youth in ways that are restricting and often exaggerate the degree of insecurity that many feel naturally, since they lack experience in living. Very often during this phase of vocation, the focus is on the second house, become self reliant and developing core competencies. The key issue during this period is to grow up, to mature, and failure to do so is just not an option. Yet, in astrology, we often look at houses and signs in terms of their opposites, realizing that success in life requires balance. For example, the qualities of Aries, which are self confidence, bravery, ability to initiate projects, and to excellently know their own mind, are often disastrous if not combined with the qualities of Libra, which are the ability to compromise, and understand others. Likewise Librans, need some of that Arian ability to know their own minds, to balance their understanding of others wishes – otherwise they risk becoming indecisive doormats . And so it is during this early phase of vocation the qualities of the Moon, Cancer and fourth house become important to balance the Capricorian qualities. We all need nurturing as well as discipline, the opportunity to be vulnerable as well as prove our drive, the freedom to be changeable as well as incentives to develop focus, and sensitivity to our feelings, as well as the ability to control them. Most importantly, we need to remain in touch with our deepest soul needs, even as we develop an understanding of society’s needs and to find that to do which balances both.
The Aquarian Phase of Vocation
As we pass thirty, we strive for something more than just a place in society. We strive to improve society and leave our mark on it. This is the time when finding or creating that dream job becomes critically important. We have entered the Aquarian phase of vocation and these issues predominate: Awareness of social issues, the big picture, making changes, ideas. This is the time, when we bring society up to date, when we update the workplace and anticipate the future, and personalize ourworkplace. This is the time, when we get to implement all those improvements to society that we saw were needed as teenagers. Networking, working with others This second phase often puts more emphasis on working with others and service to society becomes more important. Issues such as resolving conflicts with others in the work place, or simply working better with others, working effectively in teams or with customers are adressed. The sixth house and creating the dream job became more of a focus, as we have hopefully by this time identified and developed core competencies. Personal freedom and creating the dream job. This is a time when we specialise, and move past the limitations of our earlier years. Our parents and teachers, however well meaning tend to imprint us with their preferences. Now is the time when we can move beyond their expectations, and live our vocations more fully. In work situations we have more security; we can create niches for ourselves in companies, or start our own businesses.
When this can’t happen, and we find ourself stuck in the Capricornian phase, with an over emphasis on duty or a lack of discipline and structure then we can experience the mid life crisis. Even if we don’t, its natural at this time, to remember what are dreams were, re-access our current situation, and make whatever adjustments are needed. Oftentimes, the mid life crisis is experienced as something that is very disruptive. Not just being fired, but being fired out of the blue, orsome sudden urge to quit a current job. That’s the nature of Uranus. If your middle years are too unstable, it maybe because you are too focused on structure, routine and fitting in in ways that aren’t beneficial to you any more. The things that worked when you were younger, won’t work as well now. As we strive to make our mark on society, or simply be moreourselves, we need to remember Leo qualities of spontaneity, joyfulness, ability to give love and desire to please others, otherwisewe may become self centered eccentrics, who love humanity, but can’t stand any humans, or suffer burnout.
Most importantly we need to develop our creativity, and the courage to be everyday more fully ourselves.
The Piscean time of vocation
The Piscean period starts in the early sixties and lasts until about ninety, should you live that long. In our society, currently it’s characterized by retirement, and too often those negative Piscean qualities of disorientation, disintegration, and dependence on others. I think that its a great loss to our society that just when people arehitting their stride in mastering vocation, that they think that they must leave it.
Now if you are in a dead end job, or simply looking for more freedom from day to day responsilibity, then retiring is a wonderful way for youto be able to more fully pursue vocation.
The question is, what are you retiring from, and what are you moving toward?
Your vocation doesn’t end until you die. If you don’t have some role for yourself that is associated with the positive qualities of Pisces, which is service to others, creativity, healing, wisdom, seeing the big picture (holistic thinking), then you risk experiencing the negative qualities mentioned above, which can result in your being confined insome way (in your house, or an institution) or in becoming a victim (of your children, perhaps) or slipping into the mental fog of Alzheimer’s.
The idea of retirement came about as a result of a chronic problem in our current capatalistic system of not having enough work for everyone which reached its peak during the Great Depression and not because anyone demonstated that it was good for older people to quit work. Likewise ideas about aging, and also about how vocation should be approached, that is with competition, ambition and drive, but without any heart also compromise this stage of vocation. Read more about this in What the sea goat, as symbol of Capricorn, teaches us about vocation.
How can vocation look like in this stage?
You can remain in your current job, but mentor others, or retire fromday to day responsibilities and focus on long range goals, or solving chronic problems.
You can quit your job, and go into a new line of work, which emphasizes service, or art – perhaps something you couldn’t afford todo when you were younger.
You can retire and do volunteer work, full time, with passion. Politics, work with the poor, church activities, work with children in schools are all examples.
You can focus on areas that have always interested you, but are often not associated with vocation, such as pursuing spiruality, or a focus
on family – perhaps becoming the family elder, who helps raise children, creates a family history and reunions, resolves conflicts etc.Stay in your current job, and just keep growing in maturity, wisdom
To successfully pass through this penultimate stage of life I think thatits useful to maintain these Virgo qualities:
Service to others
Healthy everyday routines
Discernment and attention to detail
Another good resource is the book by sociologist Sarah LawrenceLightfoot called, “The Third Stage: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 years after 50.”
The future of the world does not rest with youth. It rests with the old.Only they have the life experience and wisdom and contacts to effect real change.